31 Mar 2017

Emotions and Emotional Intelligence

Emotions and emotional intelligence impact every aspect of people’s lives including learning, decision-making, creativity, relationships, and health. Therefore, it is vital that the boys learn how to recognise, express manage their emotions.

In recent professional development Lindfield staff were introduced to RULER program. The RULER program was developed by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.  It is designed to teach people of all ages how to develop their emotional intelligence to create a more effective and compassionate society. 

Studies have shown that RULER program enhances learning environments, improves academic performance and decreases aggressive behaviours. One study in particular found that students in classrooms integrating the RULER had higher year-end grades and higher teacher ratings of social and emotional competence compared to students in classrooms not using RULER.  In other words, the RULER program also helps students to develop vital social and life skills such leadership. 

The program uses the word Ruler as an acronym: 

R – Recognising emotions

U – Understanding emotions

L – Labelling emotions

E – Expressing emotions

R –  Regulating emotions

Following the acronym helps children, who often find it difficult to label and express emotions, learn how to identify and understand their emotions using more complex language.  They learn to replace basic feeling words with more sophisticated words and progress from using words like ‘OK’ or ‘fine’ to using words like ‘tranquil’ or ‘serene’. This helps both students and staff handle and regulate strong emotions at school so they can make better decisions for themselves and their community. It also results in fewer incidents of bullying, a more productive classroom and greater student well-being.

How can you help your son develop his social and emotional skills using RULER?

  • Follow the acronym at home
  • Point and out and discuss facial expressions, vocal changes and body language that reflects different emotion to your son
  • Use a wide variety of emotion words with your son
  • Help your son evaluate the best time, place and way to express their feelings
  • Help your son find useful and successful strategies for managing the emotions they experience


Patricia Kazacos – Learning Enhancement



Bracket, M., Rivers, A., Reyes, M & Salovey, P. (2012). Enhancing academic performance and social and emotional competence with RULER feeling words curriculum. Learning and Individual Differences, 22(2), 218-224. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2010.10.002





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